These days, with a culture of overworked and distracted people, it's not hard to see how something like forgetting a sleeping baby in the back seat of a car could easily happen.

Baby in Car Seat


But the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety wants to make sure that it doesn't, and is spreading the word on why the risks of such a mistake could be deadly.

Wednesday, May 1st is "National Heatstroke Prevention Day" and the Maine safety agency is asking people to remember to do three important things to help prevent heat stroke in kids in a hot car: Stop. Look. Lock.

According to Erica Davis of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, toddlers and young children are the most at risk of being accidentally left in hot cars.


"Since 1998, when safety advocates first began tracking, vehicular heatstroke has killed more than 965 children. Each death was preventable. More than half (52.6%) of these tragedies occur when a child is 'forgotten' by a parent or caregiver and left in a hot car. A busy parent or caregiver may unintentionally forget that a quiet or sleeping child is in the back of the vehicle. "

The National Weather Service says that even on a 70-degree day, the temperature on the inside of a vehicle can rise to dangerous levels in as little as a few minutes if left in the sun.


"Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia, which occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle... Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets, and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The younger the child the more severe the effects because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate its internal temperature."

Davis says another risk parents and caregivers should be aware of is that children have also been known to slip back into a hot vehicle undetected if it's not locked up properly once they've been removed from it.

That's why they came up with the slogan " Once You Park, Stop, Look, Lock. "

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